Google brings Video Chat to Android smartphones

29 Apr 2011

Google is launching Google Talk with video and voice chat for Android phones, marking a new paradigm in the Android OS’s battle against Apple’s iOS and its FaceTime video chat system.

“You can now video or voice chat with your friends, family and colleagues right from your Android phone, whether they’re on their compatible Android tablet or phone, or using Gmail with Google Talk on their computer,” explained Colin Gibbs, product manager with Google.

“You can make calls over a 3G or 4G data network (if your carrier supports it) or over Wi-Fi,” Gibbs said.

How Google Video Chat works

The video chat capability will manifest itself through users’ Google Talk friends list, where now a video chat button will appear next to contacts and users will be able to connect with them.

“Any text chats from the person you’re talking with will be overlaid on your phone’s screen so you can read them without having to leave the video,” Gibbs explained.

“And, if you need to check something else, the video pauses automatically so you can go back to your phone’s home screen or another app. The audio will keep going even though the video has paused,” he added.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years